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Old 28th June 2005, 04:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Haifa, Israel
Posts: 183
Default Interesting identification for the “Mystery” folding knives

These Mystery folders were discussed on the forum several times with various suggestions for their use: To repair carpets, to clean opium pipes etc. They were also attributed to India, Afghanistan, Indo-China and other places in South East Asia. For more details on these knives see: Folding Asian Knives

I just received an interesting email from Mr. Franco Toscani from Italy. And I am quoting the relevant paragraph of his mail:

”…They are actually a sort of \"pen\" for writing on palm-tree leafes:
with the blade you cat the core of the leafe, in a rectangular flat shape, and with the \"point\" you can write on the leaf. The leaf (fresh) keeps the words and it is not possible, obviously, to cancel. Whes dry the leaf is strong, elastic and thin.
I have seen with my eyes people using this kind of knife both in Sri Lanka and in south of India. But I have found such a knifes also in Burma.
Somebody wrote on a book that they are used for cutting and restoring carpets, but it is absolutely not true…”

The interesting explanation on the use of these knives and the attribution make a lot of sense and I am grateful to Mr. Toscani for his mail.
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Old 29th June 2005, 06:59 AM   #2
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Location: Moenchengladbach, Germany
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I have 2 of these knives in my collection.
Both of the were declared as rasor knives
Here You can see one of them:

According to the wherabouts and the use of these knives I found several explanations in my literature.
Bernard Levine names them weaver's knives comming from Indiain his Guide to Knives and their Values .
Gabriel Mandel also names them weaver's knives but puts their origin to Bosnia Herzegovina.
In a book written by the well known Austrian collector Horst Brunner, these knives are named as tools for writing holy texts on palm leaves.
He puts their origin to Ceylon and dates them 19th century.
This description matches the one Mr. Toscani gave You.
This last description I could also find in the Solingen Klingenmuseum where one of these knives can be seen.
When I met Mr Brunner once in Solingen he showed me the knife which is displayed in Solingen.
Since I regard the knowledge and experience of Mr. Brunner I tend to believe his description concerning this kind of knife.

Greetings, Helge

Last edited by ingelred : 29th June 2005 at 07:14 AM.
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